Monday, December 23, 2013

If I Call It a 'Tutorial' It Sounds Way More Bloggy

Ahem. A Christmas Cracker Tutorial

Don't you just want to Pin it? (No really, I think you can Pin it, there might be an option at the bottom.)

Today's Advent Activity was making Christmas crackers. For those on the monarchical side of the pond, you know exactly what these are. For the rest of you, this might be new.

Christmas crackers are an integral part of the Christmas festivities. Every family meal, office party, restaurant dinner or any other Christmas get-together involves them. They even give out Christmas crackers to the homeless at outreach services. It's, like, not Christmas without a cracker.

Since they are hard to find in the States, our elves asked us to make them ourselves. We decided to make enough for Christmas breakfast with my family on Christmas morning, so we have been collecting toilet rolls for weeks.

To make an authentic Christmas cracker, you need the following:

- Empty toilet rolls
- Some kind of wrapping paper
- Some kind of ribbon or tie
- Trinkets
- Jokes
- Paper crowns
- Cracker snaps

However, since I am never very organized and all my plans are poorly thought out, I never got around to ordering my cracker snaps this year. Note to self: Order them in January for next year.

We also didn't make paper crowns. Last year when we made these in Scotland, we made crowns out of tissue paper and tape. I don't think that requires much explanation... just make a crown however you want. Just make it adjustable and/or able to fit an adult or child's head.

Okay, so here's the 'tutorial'. That word makes me sound like such a ponce. But it's the blingo. (Blog+Lingo = That has TOTALLY gotta become a word.)

First cut out sheets of wrapping paper large enough to cover the toilet roll sideways and leave plenty of extra on the ends for pulling on. Then cover the toilet roll with glue from a glue stick.

Roll the gluey toilet roll up in wrapping paper. Seal the end with more glue so the wrapping paper doesn't peel away.

Pretty. :) (By the way, I didn't mean to get actual glittery wrapping paper. In its cellophane I thought it was just glittery looking. But no, it was actual glitter, everywhere. But it came out looking really nice.)

Tie up one end with some kind of ribbon. I used silver raffia. It was just right for pulling the ends tight without breaking. If you are using cracker snaps, run them through the middle of the toilet roll and make sure to tie it up on each end. These tied ends are the ends two people will pull so the snap needs to be caught in the tie so they, you know, snap.

Fifi hand wrote some jokes herself.

Stuff the cracker with the necessary items. We inserted jokes, a chocolate sweetie and a mini tree ornament into each. We were going to use little Christmas stocking filler things like mini keychains, pencil erasers, etc, but the Christmas party section was already cleared out today when I went to buy them. As was the majority of the whole Christmas section. Which is why I got the wrapping paper I did, come to think of it. I didn't realize waiting until the last minute around here was a bad idea. But it is. Note to self: Get all your Christmas supplies in October next year.

Once everything is inside, tie up the end, again, remembering to catch the snap if you are using them.

Then on Christmas day, or at your work's night out, or wherever you are going to be opening your crackers, place one cracker at each place setting. Everyone will turn to someone else to pull their crackers apart. Whoever ends up with the cracker part and not just an end gets to keep what's inside. Don't forget to put on your crown and read your joke. (The cornier, the better!)

Merry Christmas!

(Oh yeah, and speaking of toilet roll, it seemed Banoffee got in on the toilet roll action himself last night. He made himself a little swing hanging from the pulleys on the ceiling fan.  Of course this morning Lolly knocked him off by trying to swing him really fast and really high.)

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